Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tea with Miss Caroline

 Six or seven years ago, I made a lot of muslin milk jug covers with tatted edgings and motifs which I gave away as gifts. It was my first foray into using beads! I thought it was an idea worth revisiting. But I'd forgotten how long it takes to tat a beaded edging. I'm going to have to come up with a simpler version if it's going to be worth selling them at a Christmas Market. I think Miss Caroline will be gifted because no one would be willing to pay for the time this took me to do.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


 Thanks to Frivole for the idea of using a packet tie to make a hook for adding beads.

Smoothing Miss Caroline's Dress

In yesterday's purple version of Martha Ess's Miss Caroline, the long chains were a  bit muddled. In this version, I made very, very small picots after every 4 ds and joined the long chains together for more stability. Ladytats suggested using double double stitch or lock chains. I had already tried double double stitch, which wasn't a success. Lock stitch worked better:
Jess's Tat-ilicious thread shows the lock chains off well. Now, which of these two versions works best?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Crinoline Ladies

This lady, designed by Heather the Tarnished Tatter, is intended for needle tatting. I've read that any shuttle pattern can be made with needles, but I don't know if the reverse is true! Anyway, this lady can be made with shuttles. At 15 cm, she's too tall for my purposes. I could use a finer thread, but there are rather too many cut and ties for my liking. For anyone looking for the pattern, which I have had on my computer for ages,  this is Tatted Lady no 2.

I went on the search for another pattern and eventually found this one, Miss Caroline, the Crinoline Belle, by Martha Ess:
I struggled a bit with the very long chains, perhaps because the Milford thread is very twisted. But I do like Miss Caroline, so I'll have another go at her. She is 10 cm tall, so she'll work for what I have in mind.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lace in Place

 My daughter sent me this photo of her wearing her merino blouse with the tatted lace sewn to the sleeves. The tatting enlivens a rather plain blouse! Here's another picture:
For those that missed it, here's a link to the post where I wrote about tatting the lace.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

All in Red

I've been wanting to put these two roses together for a while. The smaller one with leaves was designed by Usha on In Tatters, while the other one was designed by Victats, but they are both stylised roses and I think they 'belong' together. I put 6 of Victat's rose on the food cover and 7 of Usha's.

Mrs. Odum's Daisy

 Mrs. Odum's daisy has been on my to-do list for a long time. I don't remember where I first saw the motif, but I have to say I really like Elizabeth's version with beads added.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Preparing the Hem

 I've been looking for a new way to prepare the hem of organza food covers for sewing with a machine embroidery pattern. I used to pin the hem on the wrong side and then tack or baste with a thread. The problem was that the basting thread was often difficult to remove when it was covered with embroidery stitches. I've found that a better way is to press the folds with a steam iron and then hold them in place with pins on the right side of the fabric. Pressing the seam keeps it in place long enough to put the pins in and to remove them during sewing.

Dragonflies Have Landed

 My inverted tatting dragonflies and waterlily have lurked in my tatting tin for quite a while, but I have now made an organza 'pond' for them - really a food cover. I've agreed to take part in a Christmas bazaar next month, I  need to get things made to put on my table for sale.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Piccadilly Express

 The little pink train went huff,
The little pink train went whoo,
The little pink train went puff, puff, puff,
And took me to the zoo.

The little pink train went huff,
The little pink train went whee,
The little pink train went puff, puff, puff,
And took me home to tea.

Sorry, couldn't resist that. I don't know who wrote the poem, I just remember it from one of my favourite childhood books. Of course it really should be a red train.

Thanks very much to Sherry, LadyShuttleMaker for organising the tat it and see, great fun!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


 Ninetta Caruso designs the cutest tats. Some one on In Tatters was looking for this pattern, which is called kittens' pattern. When I saw it I decided I must try it too. Here's a link to the pattern. I had a go at making a simplified version, but really I think it's worth doing the tricky joins to get the black tails curving upwards. Thanks, Ninetta.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 10

 I think Tatting Fool might be on the right track (pun intended) in thinking that LadyShuttleMaker's tat it and see is a train. Perhaps?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Schwalm Progress

I've made some progress on my Shwalm embroidery. I had another lesson on Tuesday, where I learnt three stitches to work on the drawn thread areas. I'm working on the big heart at the bottom, doing a stitch that reinforces the threads that are left. It's not difficult, but it boggles the mind a little. I hope I can remember how to do it now that I'm home and working alone!

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's A Wrap

 Two wraps actually. My cousin became grandmother to twins last week - two babies, two wraps. I read about muslin wraps recently and thought that would be a good idea for summer babies. My version is hand dyed, with Ninetta's  kissing minnows on the blue one and Anne Bruvold's Christmas heart on the pink one, tatted in Tat-ilicious thread.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Renulek's Doily

I've finished Renulek's doily. For those fond of statistics, the diameter is 64 cm or 25 inches. That's rather larger than the 45 cm the pattern says, so I wonder if Renulek used a thinner thread than my Coats Chain size 20.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 8

Curiouser and curiouser. This is day 8 of LadyShuttleMaker's tat it and see. I like the way Sherry has given links to Jane Eborall's technique pages for anything tricky. I have done onion rings before, but I did a quick recap to remind myself.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Outer Row!

 Here's a link to round 9 of Renulek's doily, the outer round. It's going along more quickly than I expected - I've reached my first quarter marker already!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 7

 I was about to start LadyShuttleMaker's  tat it and see again, when I realised that I had just positioned my work up to day 6 incorrectly. There was nothing wrong with it that day 7 wouldn't sort out. Oh good. I have no idea what it is, but at least it now looks like the diagram!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Start of Round 8

 Here's a link to Round 8 of Renulek's doily. The doily has outgrown the table I was visualising putting it on. I can see the sense of working it in size 80 thread. Though Renulek is known for her enormous doilies. 

Round 7 Progress

 I've just passed the three-quarters marker of round 7 of Renulek's doily. Since Carollyn asked, the diameter is now 53 cm and the finished circumference of this round will be about 167cm.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Round 7 Begun

For many years I lived on a remote farm with a very long, dirt access road. The first few times I made the journey, it seemed interminable. Then I discovered that the way to cope with it was to divide it into quarters. If I knew I was only in the second quarter, I didn't start looking out for the farm house; and each quarter mark gave me a sense of progress. What does that have to do with tatting? I have marked round 6 of Renulek's doily into quarters using yellow thread, to measure my progress on round 7. I've just passed the first quarter marker, whoo-oo.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Progress on Round 6

 I've never tatted a doily this large before. Progress is slow! It doesn't help that I've had to untat several times. The pattern is perfectly straightforward, but it clearly needs slightly more concentration than I've been giving it.

Phyllis said that her day 5 of LadyShuttleMaker's tat it and see looked the same as mine, so I carried on with day 6. But I really think I have gone wrong somewhere. In the diagram, the work curves back towards the 'daisy', whereas mine heads straight out from the daisy. I wasn't going to put a picture, but perhaps I had better show exactly what I mean:
I think I'll see how other people's work looks after day 6 before I take the plunge and start again!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Next Step

 I have to redo my satin stitch leaves. You can see a  couple of them on the left of the picture. The stitches need to be much closer together to get the required satiny look. The rest of my homework passed muster at yesterday's lesson, so I'm happy about that. The next step is to remove threads from the fabric. Eek. I've started with the horizontal threads, remove two, leave two in place, and will then do the same vertically. There are several areas of the piece where this must be done. In the next lesson, the grids so formed will be embroidered.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day Five

 This is day 5 of LadyShuttleMaker's tat it and see. I'm not sure why this section curves less than my day 4 section. I don't think I made the picots bigger, but perhaps I did. Hmmm. I may just need to redo this bit, or I might just 'see' something other than what Sherry intended.

Getting on with it

 I don't feel all that confident about my embroidery. I suspect I left doing my homework until the last minute to force myself to get on with it! Still a bit more to do before tomorrow's lesson.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 4 and the beginning of round 6

 Day 4 of LadyShuttleMaker's tat it and see. A tail on a flower?
I've made a start to the sixth round of Renulek's doily. I do hope that when it's complete the whole thing will be in good shape! I'm going to put it on hold for a bit though to put my Shwalm embroidery theory into practice because I have another lesson coming up.